I see this error every day, and it makes me cry inside. Perhaps grammar teachers are trying, but no one is listening. Let’s face it. Grammar is not sexy, but without its proper usage, a Rhodes scholar can look like a middle school dropout.
How many of you spotted this egregious error polluting otherwise festive holiday cards? What is wrong with the following line?
Season’s Greetings from The Idiot’s
Written as it is, the statement begs for the question “Idiot’s what?” The Idiot’s dog? The Idiot’s island vacation? Neither a dog, nor an island can convey wishes. This merry signature is a victim of apostrophes gone wild.
I’ve mentioned this problem before, early on, but it needs to be covered repeatedly and illustrated in its various ways. The line should read as follows.
Season’s Greetings from The Idiots
No apostrophe. It is a plural form of the last name Idiot and assumes there is more than one Idiot in said family. Otherwise, it would be signed liked this.
Season’s Greetings from Bob Idiot
Have you spotted any apostrophes gone wild? Please share them in the comments section, along with any editing questions you might have. I will incorporate your responses in future “Editing for Grammarphobes” posts.